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Louisiana House passes betting tax bill, cuts lottery into market


A bill setting out tax rates, license fees and other requirements for sports wagering in Louisiana – and allows the lottery to take part in the market – has been passed by the state House of Representatives and will now advance to the Senate.

Under House Bill 697, filed by John Stefanski, retail bets at land-based casinos would be taxes at 10%, while online bets would face a higher tax rate of 18%.

The bill also includes a $250,000 application fee for operating licenses, followed by a $500,000 fee on receipt of the license itself. 

Sports betting platform providers would also require their own type of license, which carries a $100,000 application fee and a $250,000 fee upon receipt.

For suppliers of non-platform services, a service provider license, with a $10,000 application fee followed by an additional $12,500 payment. Distributors, which include affiliates, must pay a $5,000 application fee and a further $2,500 to receive a permit.

In addition to licensees, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation may operate sports wagering. If it contracts with a platform provider to do so, it is instructed to pay 30% of net gaming proceeds towards “expenses and costs deemed necessary to administer sports wagering”, which would include platform fees.

After its passage through the House, the bill was read in the state’s Senate and placed on the calendar for a second reading.

The same tax rates, fees and other provisions for betting were previously presented in another bill, House Bill 688, which was also presented by Stefanski. However, that bill did not take a position on whether the lottery should be able to offer sports betting.

Sports betting was approved in Louisiana following a parish-by-parish referendum in 2020. This saw voters in 55 of the state’s 64 parishes back legal wagering. The vote was facilitated by a bill filed in June 2020.

However, because Louisiana’s legislature may only consider tax bills in odd-numbered years, those in the state have had to wait for the framework to be finalised.